UNION CITY — On Saturday, Aug. 27, the Tri-County North volleyball team traveled to Mississinawa Valley to participate in the Darke County Tournament, and placed 8th in the event.
The Panthers’ first match was against Newton, and in a 25-7, 25-16 loss.
“The girls took a while to wake up and warm up,” coach Melissa Wilson said. “Unfortunately, these matches were two-out-of-three. Newton is a strong team that came prepared. When we meet them again, we will be ready.”
The second match was lost to Mississinawa Valley, 25-21, 25-19.
“The girls were really pulling together, but unfortunately a difference of attitude ended in a loss,” Wilson said.
The third match was a loss to Bradford, 28-26, 25-15. The teams battled hard, but TCN lost by not keeping grounded on their fundamentals, according to Wilson.
“It was a frustrating tournament, but an excellent learning opportunity,” Wilson said. “(We) will be bouncing back and will be ready to prove that volleyball is their game once again.”
According to Wilson, culture is something that is being “highly preached to the girls and that mixed with some muscle memory skills and fun will result in a successful season.”
“The best things happen gradually,” Wilson said. “(We are) working its way back steadily, but with roots that will hold strong.”
On Thursday, Aug. 25, North played Brookville, losing in five sets, 20-25, 25-21, 16-25, 25-20, and 11-15. The Lady Panthers won the second and fourth sets, but were edged out in the end.
“The girls played with true passion and grit, finding their confidence and enjoying the game,” Wilson said. “They played five hard-fought sets, but the Blue Devils were the victors by a slim margin.”
Sara Harris, a senior, led the team with 19 successful attacks, seven of which were kills. Both setters, Cassi Stinson and Riley Cruse, were dominant in their assists, with over three dozen between the two.
Earlier this season, North lost to Troy Christian. TCN is currently 0-5 on the season. The Lady Panthers were scheduled to play Newton at home on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in their first Cross County Conference game of the year. Thursday, Sept. 1, is a return trip to Mississinawa Valley, while Saturday, Sept. 3, is another road trip to Milton-Union.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH